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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Plastic Beach an excursion through unique mythology

    The Gorillaz are nothing if not pioneers. They have a unique love of creating mythology through music and this often resonates positively in their sound. We are supposed to believe that they are cartoon characters, but after listening through their new album Plastic Beach the difficulty of maintaining this illusion becomes all the more clear.

    Blur’s Damon Albarn and his talented group of musicians have created another thoughtful, divisive collection of ideas, but beware: none of these will rouse you like their pop hit “”Feel Good Inc.”” from their previous album Demon Days. There are a few standouts, like their dancehall “”Stylo”” and the catchy tempo of “”Glitter Freeze,”” but on the whole Plastic Beach is best experienced as a complete album not as, individual of songs.

    Some light environmental themes are present here; the characters are supposed to be stuck on an eponymous plastic beach, where they recycle all the used parts they find and make them into something better. Ironically, or perhaps intentionally, this is their album’s agenda: They recycle supposedly-dead genres and attempt to mix them with their own unique flair.

    The first real track of the album, “”Welcome to Plastic Beach,”” features a rather awesome cameo by Snoop Dogg. The song’s laidback vibe suits Snoop and the Gorillaz perfectly, and I don’t think I’ll be the only listener who hopes for more collaboration between the two in the future. “”Some Kind of Nature”” is the most unique song on the album, with a distinctly snarky Lou Reed giving the song the type of pessimism New Yorkers know best. It works well and is the culmination of the Gorillaz’s efforts so far.

    For fans of the group, the risk in purchasing this album is relatively small. The band’s love of creating their own story through music is clear, although the masses will likely not take as warmly to this as they have with past hits like “”Clint Eastwood”” and “”Feel Good Inc.”” The pop sound dies a quiet death here, but from the ashes rises Plastic Beach. It’s an astutely arranged collection of indefinable noise, and the Gorillaz and their fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

     

    Gorillaz

    Plastic Beach

    Paper Bag Records

    Released March 9, 2010

    Grade B+

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